Ag News

Specialty crops play a vital role in Indiana agriculture. Jeanette Merritt, marketing director for the Purdue Wine Grape Team says when consumers think about Indiana agriculture, corn and soybeans are top of mind. But the number of vineyards across the state are on the rise as more people are looking to get back into agriculture.  “Some are inheriting ground that maybe grandpa had – but it may not be enough to grow row crops on and they are looking for different things to do with it,” she says.  “Specialty crops are obviously a great director for them to head.  If...
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A Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) bill has taken a step forward in the U.S. Senate.  Senators voted 62 to 38 to limit debate on the bill, ending any chance of a filibuster. Votes on amendments are still being allowed by Senate leaders. One of those is a bipartisan measure to allow negotiators to work on currency manipulation issues in Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) talks. The National Corn Growers Association is one of many ag groups urging passage of “a clean” Trade Promotion Authority bill.  The NCGA opposes “any amendments that could prolong debate or jeopardize the legislation. There are reports...
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This planting season has had its challenges for farmers across the Corn Belt. Much of west central Missouri farmer Adam Casner’s corn crop is at least partially underwater. As he tells Brownfield, it never is a good time for the crop to be underwater – but he’s especially worried right now.  “A lot of our corn is V3 to V4 stage and right now the plant is determining its ear girth,” he says.  “But currently it’s focusing on trying to survive standing in water and it’s not living the happy, healthy life we want it to.” Because Casner farms in flat...
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Walmart has announced stricter guidelines around animal welfare and the use of antibiotics in farm animals. The new policy calls for the elimination of gestation stalls in pork production and battery cages in egg production. The guidelines also call for antibiotics to be used only when medically necessary, with oversight of a veterinarian, and eliminating the use of antibiotics to promote growth in animals. Walmart did not give a specific timeline for the implementation of those policy changes. It’s the first time the giant retailer has established official positions on those issues.  The announcement was praised by the Humane Society...
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Ag News - Rural Issues

Following the release of USDA Quarterly Hogs and Pigs Report on Friday, September 26th, the National Pork Board hosted a tele-conference for the ag media featuring three ag economists and their reactions to the report. The panel included Dr. Ron Plain, Professor of Agricultural Economics, University of Missouri; Daniel Bluntzer, Director of...Read the full story... »     
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Iowa farmland values fell about three-and-a-half percent over the past six months and are down nearly nine percent in the past year. That’s according to the latest survey of land values conducted by the Iowa Chapter of Realtors Land Institute.  The group’s chairman, Kyle Hansen with Hertz Farm Management, says the drop is not surprising given...Read the full story... »     
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Iowa Farm Bureau president Craig Hill is encouraging farmers to submit comments on the EPA’s “Waters of the U.S.” rule. Hill says the EPA’s new interpretation of the Clean Water Act would give the federal government jurisdiction over essentially all farmland in the state of Iowa. AUDIO: Craig Hill (5:47 MP3) Link to Iowa Farm...Read the full story... »     
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At the Iowa Pork Congress on Wednesday, attendees received an update on the Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus (PEDv). One of the presenters was Dr. Rodney “Butch” Baker with the Iowa State University Veterinary Diagnostic Lab.   In this interview with Brownfield, Dr. Baker says there are signs that the spread of virus may be slowing down....Read the full story... »     
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